Cherrydale residents are seeking to reclaim the original spelling of a neighborhood park as it goes through a second phase of renovations.
In a presentation at an Arlington Parks and Recreation Commission meeting yesterday (Tuesday), neighborhood resident Harry Spector said he wanted to clarify the spelling of Oak Grove Park as two words and not one word.
There are three signs currently in the park that spell it as Oakgrove. However, the original sign in the park spells it as Oak Grove.
“With this being the oldest sign at the park, it’s clear to us that this was the county’s original intended spelling of the park,” Spector said.
Though the Oakgrove spelling is cited in the county’s Parks and Recreation master plan, Spector said there is no record the county intended to change the spelling.
“It’s a typographical error that was never corrected,” he said.
Other official documents since the 1990s that required county approval have also used the two-word spelling, Spector said.
While it seems the change could be made administratively, Spector said he was directed to the Parks and Recreation Commission by county staff, as there is a two-part process for renaming parks. The commission makes recommendations to the Arlington County Board, which has the final say on approval.
“It’s a little time consuming to correct a typo, but it’s probably the only way to do it,” said David Howell, a commission member.
Spector was hoping to fast-track the change, since the county acknowledges the park as Oak Grove while the department references it as Oakgrove. He said he wants the change to happen before the park’s renovation is complete, sometime between February and May.
The renovations include a new playground for 2-5 year-olds and 5-12 year-olds. There will also be new benches and a new gazebo with picnic tables.
All the members of the committee agreed with Cherrydale residents that the name should be changed, and will be holding another meeting on the protocol of name changing and will include another motion to move forward the spelling of the park.
“It’s kind of absurd to have go through such a process for a simple, obvious grammatical error,” Spector said.
Photos via Google Maps
A fishing store is now open in a Cherrydale strip mall that had been planning to host a gun store.
District Angling opened on December 22 at 2105 N. Pollard Street, the former location of fitness business Curves. It sells fishing rods and other equipment, tackle and flies, clothing and other accessories. It also offers courses on fly tying and fly casting, and will host other events for fishing enthusiasts.
The storefront was once set to become the Arlington County home for Nova Firearms, but the landlord pulled the plug on the lease in 2015 after plans to open the gun store prompted heated protests from local residents.
The storefront has sat vacant for the past few years, except for a period as a pop-up holiday gift shop, but it is now home to the fishing store.
The Washington Business Journal reported earlier this year that founder Richard Farino had been looking to open a new store in the region after his Urban Angler store closed last year in Old Town Alexandria. Urban Angler had begun in Arlington in 2008, before relocating south in 2011.
In an email to customers, District Angling staff said:
We’re very excited to announce that the buildout of our shop is complete! We are open for business just in time for your last minute holiday shopping, and you once again have a place to find your favorite brands, demo new rods, get information about some amazing fishing destinations locally and abroad, and learn new techniques and tricks to help your fly tying mastery. Now that winter has arrived, we’ll make sure to have coffee.
We’re adding to our inventory and product continues to arrive daily. We’re increasing our fly tying selection, brought on a few new fly fishing brands, and we have some great new District Angling logo gear for you to show off the place you tell stories about the one that got away. We’ve added women’s waders, boots, and clothing, and we have gift cards in case you don’t know what to get your favorite angler this holiday season.
The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
Hat-tip to Tim D.
A local Girl Scout Troop will send more than 400 pounds of care packages to female military members deployed overseas in time for the holidays.
Girl Scout Troop 6802 collected items like coffee, noodles, personal hygiene products, protein bars and magazines to ship to women based in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Also included are toys to give to local Afghan children and a personalized note.
The four, all eighth graders, loaded up their packages yesterday (Tuesday) at one of their houses in Cherrydale, ready to be sent abroad.
The Troop members are at the Cadette level of Girl Scouts, and used this project to earn their Silver Awards, which encourage Cadettes to help those in the community and beyond.
Troop member Clara Grimmelbein said she was inspired to help plan the project by a personal connection to the military. She was joined in collecting items by Adriana Sheppard, Victoria Jones and Emily Rotter, who took donations from other troops, friends and family.
“My brother is in college and we always send care packages to him,” she said. “My cheer coach, she’s in the military and she recently got out so I got the idea to send care packages to them. They really need it, because they’re really close to the fighting. Not that other people in the military don’t need it, but they’re close to combat.”
Sending the packages proved to be a challenge, though. Finally, after reaching out to friends and neighbors, they connected with Mike Taylor, global head of Dept. of Defense shipping for DHL and a Boy Scout troop leader in Baltimore. He agreed to have the packages all sent for free.
“We put our feelers out to see who could get all these packages delivered, and DHL stepped up,” Sheree Jones, one of the Troop members’ mothers, said.
In a brief appearance over FaceTime during his travels in Asia, Taylor congratulated the Girl Scouts on their efforts.
“You’ve really stepped up to help servicewomen deployed overseas, and you’re doing great work,” he told them.
Two Washington-Lee High School students suffered minor injuries after the car they were riding in hit a tree in a home’s front yard near the school.
The car hit the tree just after 11 a.m. on the 1600 block of N. Randolph Street after veering off the road. The crash occurred in the Cherrydale neighborhood, near the Cherry Valley Nature Area.
It caused damage to the front of the car, but did not appear to have caused much damage to the tree or any of the surrounding houses.
The pair were interviewed by police officers and attended to by paramedics, while startled neighbors came out of their houses to survey the scene.
(Updated at 10:20 a.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating an armed robbery that happened Saturday morning at the Shell station in Cherrydale.
Police say a man with a gun demanded cash from the store clerk and fled on foot.
More from an ACPD crime report:
ROBBERY, 2017-11110100, 3300 block of Lee Highway. At approximately 7:13 a.m. on November 11, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that a male suspect entered a business, brandished a firearm and demanded that an employee give him money. The suspect stole cash, forced the employee outside of the business and fled on foot before departing the area in a vehicle. The suspect is described as a thin, black male, approximately 6’0, wearing dark colored clothing. The vehicle is described as a light tan or cream colored late-model sedan. The investigation is ongoing.
Also from today’s crime reports, ACPD says officers had to use a police dog to peacefully resolve a home break-in.
According to the crime report, a man broke into a home on the 300 block of N. Glebe Road and went to sleep in a bedroom. He refused police commands to leave the home, prompting “the deployment of a police K-9.”
UNLAWFUL ENTRY, 2017-11090246, 300 block of N. Glebe Road. At approximately 5:47 p.m. on November 9, police were dispatched to the report of a suspicious person. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim arrived at his residence and observed that an unknown male suspect had gained entry to the residence and was sleeping in a bedroom. Arriving officers established a perimeter and made verbal commands but the suspect refused to comply and would not exit the residence. Following the deployment of a police K9, the suspect was taken into custody. Earl Chaptman, 64, was arrested and charged with Unlawful Entry.
Photo via Google Maps
A passing truck spilled asphalt onto Lorcom Lane in Cherrydale earlier this morning, prompting a cleanup and causing some delays.
According to scanner traffic, the truck dropped the asphalt just after 9:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. Traffic slowed on Lorcom Lane’s eastbound lane at Nelly Custis Drive, near the Cherrydale United Methodist Church, as officers from the Arlington County Police Department cleared the debris onto a nearby sidewalk.
Police put flares out to alert drivers to the material in the road, but did not close any roads. Traffic continued to flow normally heading west.
By 10:15 a.m., police had cleared the asphalt from the street and removed the flares.
Drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians alike should start seeing changes soon to the busy and confusing “Five Points Intersection” in Cherrydale.
Crews are currently digging up areas of the intersection of Lee Highway, Military Road, Old Dominion Drive, N. Quincy Street and N. Quebec Street.
They will upgrade traffic signals, add bike lanes, improve crosswalks and transit stops, widen sidewalks and add new ADA-accessible curb ramps. The intersection also will get new concrete curbs and gutters, sidewalks, driveways, asphalt pavement and street lighting.
Already, several medians around the intersection have been widened, while work is underway to dig up the corner of Lee Highway and Military Road.
During construction, those in the area can expect the following work hours and construction impacts, per a county press release:
- Work hours will be 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday (9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday in the project area along N. Quincy Street).
- Construction crews typically will close one travel lane adjacent to the work area with drums/cones while maintaining one lane of traffic in each direction.
- All businesses located within the project area will remain open.
- Sidewalk detours and temporary crosswalks will be used to maintain pedestrian access throughout the project area.
- Several bus stops will be temporarily relocated during construction. Notices will be posted in advance on bus stop flags, and will say where temporary bus stops will be located.
“Improving this busy intersection at the Lee Highway/Old Dominion Drive and N. Quincy Street/Military Road — a major transportation crossing for pedestrians, bikers, transit users and motorists — is part of the County’s larger effort to make the Cherrydale neighborhood safer and more accessible for all modes of travel,” said the county’s Director of Transportation Dennis Leach in a statement.
The work is expected to be completed next summer. County staff spent several years studying ways to improve safety for pedestrians and help simplify some dangerously complicated traffic patterns.
For at least the second time this year, fraudsters have installed credit card skimmers at a gas station in Cherrydale.
Police say a skimming device was found inside a gas pump on the 4000 block of Old Dominion Drive yesterday afternoon, after customers of the gas station “reported fraudulent activity on their bank statements.”
The Arlington County Police Department is encouraging residents to take precautions when pumping gas, noting that new credit card skimmers are more sophisticated and “are undetectable without opening the pumps.”
More from an ACPD press release:
The Arlington County Police Department is warning the public about skimming devices used to steal banking and personal information.
At approximately 2:50 p.m. on Monday, September 18, police were dispatched to a gas station in the 4000 block of Old Dominion Drive for the report of a credit card skimming device located inside a gas pump. Citizens having used this location have reported fraudulent activity on their bank statements. Police are encouraging anyone who has used this gas station to review their bank statements for any fraudulent activity. If fraudulent activity is located, report to police by calling the Emergency Communication Center at 703-558-2222 or file an online police report.
Citizens can take the following crime prevention steps to avoid skimmers at gas stations:
- Skimming devices have become more sophisticated. In most cases, the skimmers are being placed inside the machine and are undetectable without opening the pumps.
- Pay inside at the gas station, rather than at the pump.
- Always pay using a credit card instead of a debit card. Credit cards have better fraud protection, and the money is not deducted immediately from an account.
- If using a debit card at the pump, choose to run it as a credit card instead of putting a PIN number in. That way, the PIN number is safe.
- Consider purchasing a refillable prepaid card to purchase gas at the pumps.
- If you have not already switched to a chip reader on your credit card, do so.
- Regularly check your bank statements and if you notice fraudulent activity, notify the bank so they can begin an investigation.
Criminals will use a variety of different scams and the Arlington County Police Department wants the public to remain alert so you don’t become a victim. Individuals seeking more information about fraud can visit our website or contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Financial Crimes Unit at [email protected] .
Photo via Google Maps
Police say they were called to the intersection of N. Taylor Street and 18th Street N. in Cherrydale just after 4 p.m. for a report of a car break-in and theft that had just happened. Officers found five cars had been broken into and valuables stolen.
The suspects were then spotted fleeing towards Ballston.
“A responding officer witnessed three suspects matching the description fleeing towards the Metro and broadcast a lookout,” according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report.
“Officers responded to the Metro station and observed two of the suspects. Following a brief foot pursuit, one juvenile suspect was taken into custody by officers,” the crime report continued. “A second suspect was also taken into custody by officers. Nathan Outlaw, 19, of Washington, DC, was arrested and charged with three counts of Credit Card Theft. Additional charges are anticipated.”
Updated at 6:20 p.m. — A dog that authorities initially feared had died of rabies, potentially exposing the deadly disease to pets and people who visited a Cherrydale veterinary office, was not rabid according to the Centers for Disease Control. In a press release (below) the county says anyone who started rabies vaccinations should stop.
The Washington, D.C. Department of Health (DOH) learned today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (DCC) that a bulldog that initially tested positive for rabies was in fact NOT rabid. The update came after public health officials in the District of Columbia and in Arlington already had alerted the public and reached out to those who may have come in contact with the dog.
“Once the initial rabies test was positive, we had to act quickly to inform the public and to begin treatment of anyone exposed. Rabies, left untreated, is fatal. We are relieved that the CDC test confirmed that the bulldog, was not, in fact, rabid and that the public was not at risk.”
After conducting its own test of the dog, DOH sent the test sample to the CDC for confirmation, a routine step when there are questions about the results. In this case, the dog had been vaccinated for rabies and was not known to have had exposure to the deadly disease. The CDC results were NEGATIVE. The dog did not have rabies.
Anyone who began rabies vaccinations based on the initial test results is NOT AT RISK of rabies and should stop the vaccination series. It will not cause harm to stop the series.
Arlington residents who have questions should call (703) 228-5200 Option #1 and ask for the Nurse of the Day during business hours (Monday – Friday 8:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.) After hours call, (703) 228-5645 and leave a message with your name and phone number and your call will be returned within 2 hours.
Earlier: Arlington County’s health department is trying to find those who might have had contact with a bulldog that has died of rabies.
The bulldog was brought to the Cherrydale Veterinary Clinic (4038 Lee Hwy) the morning of Saturday, July 8 and the afternoon of Friday, July 14, the county said in a press release. The county has been working with the clinic to identify and get in touch with those who might have had physical contact with the dog.
Construction crews have demolished the Cherry Hill Apartments just off Lee Highway, and a new four-story building is set to replace it.
The three-story garden apartments at 2110-2120 N. Monroe Street in Cherrydale have been razed, as well as two single-family homes next door. The former building had 77 units and was built in 1961 near a Safeway grocery store.
Building permits filed with the county indicate that 79 trees have also been removed from the site. Currently, diggers are removing any remaining walls and buildings from the property ahead of clearing the ground.
In its place, property owner Dittmar will build a four-story apartment building with 93 units as a by-right development, meaning it does not require Arlington County Board approval.
Material advertising the former apartments touted them as a “quiet, garden style community” with direct bus service to the Rosslyn Metro station.
A 7-Eleven on Lee Highway in Cherrydale will close by the end of the month, and local residents are concerned for the future of other business nearby.
Multiple anonymous tipsters said they heard the 7-Eleven at 3901 Lee Highway will close. One said the new landlord is refusing to sign a new lease with the convenience store. Former landlord Kostas Kapasouris sold the properties earlier this year, and confirmed in an interview Tuesday morning that the 7-Eleven will close by the end of June.
County property records indicate that Naqibullah M. Ismail bought the shopping plaza and the stores across N. Pollard Street from it in February. The plaza sold for $3 million, according to those records. Ismail, an Arlington resident whose LinkedIn page says he is the CEO of an Afghanistan-based contractor to the Dept. of Defense, did not respond to requests for comment.
Kapasouris also owned the buildings that housed Billy’s Cheesesteaks, Bistro 29 on one side, and the former Drug Fair building, which houses Sun & Moon Yoga, Sterling Frames, Company Flowers and almost housed the NOVA Firearms gun store until its lease was cancelled in 2015. He said the other stores should “hopefully” stay open for the foreseeable future.
Jim Todd, president of the Cherrydale Citizens Association, said that while all he has heard is “second hand or rumor” around the stores’ future, he hopes any possible redevelopment plans are consistent with previous guidelines approved for the area.
“Whatever happens, we hope that any redevelopment that might be coming follows the design guidelines set out in the Cherrydale Revitalization Plan and the Cherrydale Neighborhood Conservation Plan, and promotes the vision for the future of Lee Highway set out by the Lee Highway Alliance,” Todd said. “We also want to express our support for and continue to work with Kostas and all our locally-owned Cherrydale businesses.”
7-Eleven media relations staff did not respond to requests for comment.
It’s an ongoing problem: thieves using “skimmer” devices to steal credit and debit card information from unsuspecting customers of local businesses.
Arlington’s Cherrydale neighborhood appears to be the latest target of the skimmer scammers.
Reports a resident:
Maywood listserv lighting up with reports of multiple people getting their credit cards skimmed recently. Most people point to common thread of Liberty Gas station on Lee Highway (and a few other likely places in the area) as common thread. But that is not 100% clear.
In most cases, someone buys gas here. Later someone tries to purchase gas in California. Per Cherrydale listserv earlier, it looks like Arlington Police already found a “skimmer” machine earlier at Exxon across the street, but these are new reports from another potential location.
Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage confirmed at least a portion of the neighborhood scuttlebutt.
Here’s what she said via email to ARLnow.com:
Our Financial Crimes Unit received reports of possible credit card skimming at the Liberty Gas station. They responded to the area and during their investigation did not identify a point of compromise at this location. On March 9 at approximately 1:57 p.m., police responded to the Exxon gas station in the 4000 block of Old Dominion Drive for the report of a recovered credit card skimmer. That investigation is ongoing.
These type of cases are typically reported to police as credit card fraud and since we use credit cards for almost all purchases (online, in person, groceries, gas, etc.) the challenge is identifying the point of compromise. Turnaround time from point of compromise to first fraudulent use varies depending on how the suspects intend to use the stolen data. Police work closely with banking institutes who notify us when there is a trend with customers cards being compromised and they identify the location all the cards have in common.
There are some things citizens can do to protect themselves:
- You will not know if a gas pump has a skimmers. In most cases, the skimmers are being placed inside the machine.
- Pay inside at the gas station rather than at the pump.
- Always pay using credit rather than debit – it’s easier to dispute the charges and isn’t linked directly to your bank account.
- If you haven’t switched to a chip reader on your credit card, do so.
- Regularly check your bank statements and if you notice fraudulent activity, notify the bank so they can begin an investigation.
- If you find you were the victim of fraud, file a police report.
Photo via Google Maps
Saved from closure by a new owner, House of Steep on Lee Highway is now in the process of adding new ways for its customers to relax.
The Cherrydale business at 3800 Lee Highway had been set to close late last year, after founder and previous owner Lyndsey DePalma suggested it was not making enough money.
But it was bought by long-time customer Patrick Vaughan and reopened in January, and now Vaughan is looking to bring some new ideas.
The tea house and “foot sanctuary” will soon offer wine to customers, after filing a license application with Virginia ABC. Vaughan said that new innovation could help turn House of Steep into more of a wine bar in the evenings.
“I envision people having a glass of wine while doing a sit and soak essentially, or getting a foot massage,” he said. “The theme of the place is relaxation, so to me I know a lot of people consider a glass of wine at the end of the day the ultimate relaxation.”
Vaughan said he also hopes to expand walk-in availability for House of Steep’s reflexology and massage services. Previously, he said, customers would have to schedule an appointment 24 hours in advance, but Vaughan said he wants to have a system where people can be seen straight away or an hour or two later.
House of Steep’s community outreach is also set to be expanded. Vaughan, a trail and ultra-marathon runner, said he has already partnered with the charity D.C. Capital Striders to host a weekly run from the store. He has other plans too.
“We’ve been proactively inviting community groups to host their meetings in the space or holding wellness seminars or doing open mic nights,” Vaughan said. “We’re definitely trying to create a little bit more of a community environment space for people to use throughout the day and evening.”
The busy and confusing “Five Points Intersection” in Cherrydale is set for an overhaul after the County Board awarded a construction contract Saturday.
Board members unanimously awarded a contract worth just under $1.7 million to A&M Concrete Corporation to improve the streetscape at the intersection of Lee Highway, Military Road, Old Dominion Drive, N. Quincy Street and N. Quebec Street.
The revamped intersection will include upgraded traffic signals, new bike lanes, improvements to crosswalks and transit stops, widened sidewalks and new ADA-accessible curb ramps. It also includes construction of new concrete curbs and gutters, sidewalks, driveways, asphalt pavement and street lighting.
In 2013, the Cherrydale Citizens Association expressed opposition to proposed changes, arguing some aspects created more danger for motorists.
But after some tweaks, the association’s fears appear to have been taken into account. The association’s newsletter expressed hope that the changes would make things better for all road users.
County staff has been exploring improvements at the intersection for several years to improve safety for pedestrians and help simplify some dangerously complicated traffic patterns.
A&M’s original bid of $1.4 million for the contact was the lowest of four submitted. A contingency of $280,000 has been added to take into account any cost overruns.